Not shifting into gear?

I have a question about a dodge neon 2002. I am wanting to buy this car from a guy, but he says it needs a power control module. Then car starts up and runs fine, it doesn’t smoke etc; the problem is when your driving it, it will not shift into gear and will go back into netural. I want a opinion on what it could be and what something like that could even cost to get fixed.

I don’t know what it would cost, but either he fixes it first, or I’d just find a different car. Don’t you take on the risk.

“I am wanting to buy this car… it will not shift into gear and will go back into netural”

You should not be “wanting to buy” flawed merchandise.
Either insist that he fix the car in order for you to consider it, or move on to other used cars that don’t have obvious problems such as this.

Used cars are like commuter buses. If you miss out on one, another one will be along shortly.

That’s called a slipping transmission. Usually caused from the lack of maintanence of the transmission fluid. Walk away.


And think of it this way, if it was simple/cheap to fix, he’d probably already have done it. I’d find some other car to buy, old Neons are known to be (very) troublesome.

Yup, walk away.

I agree with the others here…walk away…very quickly.

Before you plop down any money, have the seller take the Neon to an independent transmission shop with you in tow and have the codes pulled from the Transmission Control Module. I am sure that there will be one or more. Then the transmission technician could give you/him an estimate to cure the problem. Of course the seller should foot the bill for this diagnosis. When the estimate for the repair is available, you can make a decision on the buying price. You or the owner will have to negotiate the payment for the repairs.

Don’t get too attached to buying this car. You might have an uninterested party with you to Dutch Uncle the deal. Also, in most states, the seller is responsible for the transfer smog inspection and any repair costs necessary to bring the emissions systems passing level.

Good luck on this deal.

@Researcher - that would be the way to do it, if there was a good reason to pursue the deal…but why not just move on to something else?

You are right, @texases.

But sometimes a person gets enarmoured with a car and plunges in without being rational. Maybe, he/she likes the color, the interior, or just has wanted one – forever. The reasoning goes that any repairs are incidental to the perceived value of the car. That is the reason for a disinterested second party to act as an advocate or rational head.

At least we have tried our best.

Yes, we have tried our best, but I think that this is just one more case of somebody who looks at a shiny exterior, believes the BS being flung by the buyer, and thinks…This is the car for me!

Yes, that is a sad commentary, but–unfortunately–I think that this is the way that a lot of people approach the purchase of a used car. Then, they come back to this forum, a month or two later, to ask for advice about HUGE problems with the damaged goods that they bought.

I am not jumping into buying the car. Agreed I like it. They are only asking $700 for it, that’s why I am asking what could the cost of fixing the car could range, as it could be a steal if its a cheap fix. So was looking for those who have had similar issues so I would know what I would be working with if I did agree to purchase this car.

Sounds like the transmission is going out to me. If the seller is confident that a module of some sort will fix the car then tell them to change the module and you will give them 700 + the module cost if all is well afterwards. Odds are that conversation will end…

@rika - that’s cheap, for sure. But old Neons are rare, most have met their maker. They would be at the bottom of my list. Look around for something $1,000 or less, check out Craigslist (be careful), boards at the grocery stores, nearby universities, etc. You may have to compromise, get something not much ‘fun’, maybe a 1996 or newer Impala or Cobalt, pretty much anything that’s running in good shape (and '96 or newer).